Beardman Cracks Game-Winner To Edge Golden Bears In Extras
April 18, 2008
Stanford, Calif. - Senior Anna Beardman launched a game-winning single into left center field in the eighth inning, lifting the No. 7/8 Cardinal to a 4-3 come-from-behind victory over the rival California Golden Bears tonight at Smith Family Stadium.
The Cardinal, which has now won five consecutive Pac-10 games, improves to 39-7 on the year and an even 5-5 in the Pac-10. Cal falls to 35-17, and 3-7 in the conference with the loss.
Beardman led Stanford with a 2-for-3 performance and the game-winning RBI, while fellow senior Erin Howe reached on three of her four plate appearances and scored the game-winning run. Sophomore Shannon Koplitz provided the pivotal hit that tied the game in the sixth inning.
Missy Penna threw her 26th complete game for Stanford, allowed just two hits and struck out eight. The Cardinal ace improves to 27-6 on the year, matching the second-highest single-season win total in school history. Cal ace Marissa Drewrey took the loss and drops to 23-11.
The Bears took a sudden three-run lead in the second inning when Vernae Sevilla read an 0-1 offering from Penna and drilled it over the left field fence. With Bernice Masaniai and Katie Vickers on with walks, Sevilla capitalized on the RBI opportunity, notched her first homerun of the year and put Cal up 3-0.
Stanford struggled to find its offense, and tallied just one hit prior to the fifth inning.
In the fifth inning, however, a spark of offense started what eventually became an eight-hit flame that won the game. Howe was walked to begin the fifth, and advanced to second on a bloop single to left by Beardman. Freshman Autumn Albers entered the game to run at second base, and raced around to score when Alissa Haber battled back from an 0-2 count and singled to right field.
In the sixth inning, Stanford added on, this time capitalizing on pair of Golden Bear miscues to tie the game. With one out, Neill was hit by a pitch to put the first Cardinal runner on. Freshman Melisa Koutz grounded to second on the next at bat, but Sevilla missed the tag on Neill and the second baseman's throw was too late to get Koutz. With one out, a deep foul ball off the bat of Howe was caught, and Michelle Smith stepped up to the plate for the Cardinal's last chance. Smith hit a routine pop-up just behind third base, but a miscommunication between shortstop Taylor Kelly and third baseman Vickers allowed the ball to drop. Neill scored from second on the play, and on the next at bat, Koplitz stepped up with her clutch RBI single down the left line that scored Koutz.
Stanford put a runner on in the seventh, but was unable to score. In the top of the eighth, Maddy Coon made two crucial defensive plays at shortstop, including a leaping catch that robbed Valerie Arioto of a lead-off base hit.
In the bottom of the eighth, Stanford pulled together and sealed the win. With one out, Howe singled up the middle to put the winning run aboard. Smith then laid down a bunt, and the Golden Bear defense watched it roll towards the first base line and stop just inside fair territory. Koplitz drew a one-out walk to load the bases, and, after fouling two pitches off, Beardman socked the game-winner into the gap in left center field.
The Cardinal will meet the Golden Bears again both tomorrow and Sunday. The next game is set for tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Smith Family Stadium, while the final game of the series will take place in Berkeley on Sunday at 1 p.m.